Children travel to school in many different ways – by bus, car, on bicycle, scooter, or by foot. Teaching kids about traffic safety is a priority for the Nevada Department of Transportation.
We like to say that safety is a two-way street: it’s the job of responsible pedestrians and attentive motorists to safely navigate through our daily commutes.
Walking or biking to school
- By car, bicycle and/or foot, families should conduct a test trip between home and school before the school year begins. Access and other roadway conditions can change over the summer, even on previously-familiar routes. Familiarize yourself with distance, travel time, safe crossing areas and more. Use this test trip as an opportunity to remind children of traffic safety practices.
- There’s safety in numbers. Encourage your child to walk in groups with other children. You can also check with your school for more information to Initiate a “walking school bus”.
- Ensure that children on a bicycle, scooter, or skates have a well-fitting helmet with bright colored clothing to increase visibility.
- If riding, check brakes and air in tires before each ride.
- Make sure that there is no loose clothing or gear, such as loose pant legs, backpack straps or shoelaces, which could become caught in your bike chain. Also wear sneakers when biking. Sandals, flip-flops, shoes with heels, and cleats won't help you grip the pedals.
- Only cross at designated crosswalks. Obey all traffic signs, traffic lights, and crossing guard instructions. If you’re on a bike or scooter, walk and don’t ride through the crosswalk.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises to follow the tried-and-true rule: Look left-right-left before crossing any street. To make sure that they see you, make eye contact with all approaching drivers before crossing the street.
- Walk or ride predictably in a straight line without weaving in and out of traffic. Travel in the same direction as traffic and on the sidewalk whenever possible.
- Always remain alert and attentive to your surroundings, with your eyes focused on the road ahead. Do not listen to music that could distract from the roadway sounds and alerts around you.
Riding the school bus
- Stay five steps away from the curb.
- Always wait for the bus driver to tell you when to board.
- Face forward after finding a seat on the bus.
- Exit the bus when it stops, look left-right-left, and take five steps away from the bus toward the curb.
- Children should always enter and exit the bus at designated locations that provide safe access to the bus or to the school building.
Sharing the road with young pedestrians
- Always wear your seatbelt while operating or as a passenger in a vehicle.
- Do not text or talk on your phone while operating a vehicle. It is dangerous and against the law in Nevada.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Check crosswalks to ensure pedestrians aren’t present, obey traffic signs, speed limits, and proceed slowly through school zones.
- Stop for a school patrol safety officer or crossing guard using hand signals or holding a sign.
- Do not block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn. This forces pedestrians to have to move around you, putting them in the way of moving traffic
- Per state law, no u-turns or passing are allowed in Nevada active school zones or school crossing zones.